Countries like Saudi Arabia aren't just buying UK arms, they are also buying political support and very often silence about the human rights abuses they preside over. Changing this will take more than the cancellation of a few licences. It will need a complete overhaul of government foreign policy and an end to the hypocrisy at the heart of it.
Fundamental questions need to be asked about the UK Government's relationship with Saudi Arabia and calling the execution of 47 prisoners, some who were political prisoners only 'disappointing' is an embarrassing stance from the Government, a Government that is far too close to a regime with serious human rights abuses.
While the EU continues to struggle with the Mediterranean refugee crisis, South East Asia has been facing a potential catastrophe as Burma's Rohingya flee their homes in search of safety across the Andaman Sea. The scenes of thousands of people stranded on boats and the harrowing discovery of mass graves have recently commanded the world's attention, but the Rohingya minority's desperation is not new and they are no strangers to injustice.
Encouraging the Palestinians to accede to the ICC, which they have been eligible to do since attaining Observer State status at the UN in 2012, would introduce an accountability mechanism that would deter future violence. It would also provide an incentive for each side to stay at the negotiating table.
In his recent trip to Afghanistan, Labour Party leader Ed Miliband firmly stated that he would support British military intervention in future conflicts if it was "in the national interest". However, judging by recent statements made by senior figures in Britain's military, security and police establishments to two national newspapers, it will be in Britain's national interest not to engage in wars.
It's possible I'm being too harsh on the Government. Maybe the remaining 130 licences for exports to Egypt are OK, and the risk that any of this other equipment might be misused is minor. But I suspect we need more revocations now, and a tighter policy on actually issuing licences in future. At the very least we need more information.
The military cooperation agreements announced last month with Algeria and Libya are part of UK 'energy diplomacy' aimed at securing access to strategic resources in North Africa. Both countries are identified in the UK Energy Security Strategy as producers of gas and oil which are important trading partners and hence countries which are important to the UK's energy security.
Diverse issues like instability in the Middle East, the financial crisis and climate change, all bear the footprint of the US. It is therefore incontrovertible that if we, here in the UK, wish to genuinely affect such issues, it is in our vital strategic interest to cement the 'special relationship.'
Our most recent occupation of Afghanistan has been marked, much like the others, by a directionless war that turns Afghans into enemies while getting bogged down in mud and blood. The growing occurrence of so called 'green on blue' attacks on allied forces are not simply a failure of security checks but a deeper sign that more Afghan's than ever are unconvinced that the 11 year occupation has been for their benefit. We should bring home the 9,000 British service men and women still stationed in Afghanistan, taking them out of harm's way.
It is certainly true that cuts to the British military would make retaking the Falklands more difficult should the islands be lost. It is also true that the discovery of significant hydrocarbon reserves in the waters around the Falklands has increased their strategic value, and that Argentine rhetoric on the Falklands has become increasingly bellicose. But does Argentina have the capability to seize the Falklands?
This week I visited Somalia's capital. Mogadishu is a city where people until recently were surviving, not really living. As its Mayor said to me, a 20-year-old Somali has never known anything other than violence and war... I left Somalia more convinced than ever that we have a responsibility to do our utmost to stem the decline of Somalia. Its people deserve a better future, and our own security requires their country to become more stable.